The Armchair Treasure Hunt Club
Helium Dream and the Lost Heart

Helium Dream and the Lost Heart was first published in 1989. It was written, illustrated and constructed by artist and club founder Dan James. It tells the story of a young girl called Carly who one day notices that all the reflections are missing. Whilst playing in her garden she is called upon by her mirror image who asks for her help to find all the missing reflections. Her journey takes her to the land of reflections to meet with the 'Mirror Man' who gives Carly a jewelled heart made of 18 carat gold.

This heart contained a Diamond, Amethyst, Ruby, Topaz, Emerald and Sapphire. On Carlys return however, she sees that she has lost the heart. The clues in the story led the reader to a location where buried just under the earth was the real gold heart, having an estimated value of £15,000.


The solution begins at the point where Carly enters the land of reflections. On the window sill in the 'Mirror Mans' cottage there are three objects, a flower, a dice and a prism.

The prism represents the splitting of white light into its component spectrum colours of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. There are only TWO places in the book in which these colours can be found together in specific groups (except Indigo as it's the most ambiguous of the colours). The first is the gemstones in the heart given to Carly by the Mirror Man, and the other is the flowers pictured throughout the book.

On the heart there are six gemstones, or more importantly six Birthstones if you place each birthstone in it's correct month of the year you would have the correct order of colours.

       January Garnet Orange 
February Amethyst  Violet
May Emerald Green
July Ruby Red
September  Sapphire Blue
November Topaz Yellow

By then counting the number of coloured flowers to their particular colour you would end up with six numbers

       January Garnet Orange  1
February Amethyst  Violet 2
May Emerald Green 6
July Ruby Red 4
September  Sapphire Blue 5
November Topaz Yellow 1

So creating a six figure grid map reference (126 451)

This is hinted by the two dice, three sides each, two sets of three numbers. The only thing now required are the two letters that always precede a map reference. There are two ways to achieve this, one way is to count all of the white flowers throughout the book.

These add up to 34 which in the periodic table is the number of Selenium that has the chemical symbol of SE. Another way is to count up all of the numbers on either sides of the hands on the grandfather clock in the Mirror Man's cottage:

(11+12+5+6= 34)

A third is to look at the names of the flowers, only TWO letters are repeated in all of the names, these are S & E.

Sweet Violet
Lords & Ladies
Scarlet Pimpernel
Spring Gentian

The Grid Reference leads to the location the 'Twelve Apostles Stone Circle'. Then you can see the connection with the clocks hands, they are pointing to Magnetic North, which indicates the point between two stones. The casket has a code inside which led the finder to another stone on the same moor (Ilkley Moor) where the jewelled heart lay buried below the earth in a gold heart shaped casket.

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